My interest in revisiting The Prisoner and #prisoner106 this summer has also been somewhat piqued by the coincidental arrival of a new television series, Wayward Pines (Wikipedia entry, Official website) on Fox. The first episode has a Secret Service agent awakening in a remote town with limited memory of how he arrived there and where everyone seems to be both artificially happy and simultaneously suspicious and untrusting. Sound familiar?
Early on in the show, Agent Burke (played by Matt Dillon) learns that the cricket noises in the town are recordings played through tiny speakers in the flower beds and that there are listening devices and cameras hidden everywhere. And of course he can’t communicate with anyone outside the town, like his wife, his son, or his office back with the Secret Service. He is expected to leave his former life behind, avoid making waves, and learn to fit in. As if any kind of agent-type guy is going to do that.
Throw in a spooky Nurse and a mean Sheriff, along with couple of missing Secret Service agents (one his former partner — mysteriously murdered, the other his former lover — who thinks she has already been in the town for 12 years), and the first episode is off to a wonderful start.
Wayward Pines is executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan (who also directed the first episode), and the show has a very mysterious (dare I say creepy?) feel to it.
Adding to the vibe of the show is a series of GIF-like animations hosted on the web which introduce the “Seven Rules” that all members of Wayward Pines are expected to follow. They are online in some kind of Flashy format, but I’ve GIFfed them here because, well, you know, GIFs! Also, as GIFs you can see them on a mobile device. Yeah, that’s why. (LOL. After the fact I checked on my iPad, and they display just fine there. Oh well, I still got to make GIFs!)
In the GIF above, Agent Burke is looking up at a microphone/camera that is hidden in the fan. I don’t think he’s enjoying his life in Wayward Pines so far.
It’s too early to see which direction the series is going to take (things are wide open at the start with lots of unanswered questions), but it certainly has some real parallels to The Prisoner. Something’s going on, and our protagonist is just the person to sort it all out.
Fox also has a parallel series of web-based weekly mini-episodes that provide a bit more of the back-story for various peripheral characters at fox.com/wayward-pines/gone.
And there are also already GIFs a popping on a fan-built tumblr, waywardpinesidaho.tumblr.com.